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The Magnalia Christi Americana in ''The Unnameable''

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I have previously given a link to Cotton Mather's ''chaotic Magnalia Christi Americana'' so this is a duplicate. Nevertheless it is of such great importance in the story that I thought it just possible that others might be interested in reading the original.




The foul creature of the story, presumably in one of its many shapes, is alluded to by Lovecraft thus:


''Stern as a Jewish prophet, and laconically unamazed as none since his day could be, he told of the beast that had brought forth what was more than beast but less than man—the thing with the blemished eye—and of the screaming drunken wretch that they hanged for having such an eye.''



In the ''daemoniac sixth book'' of the Magnalia (a catalogue of supposed Divine judgements), on the thirty-fifth page, we find:


'' There have been Devilish Filthinesses committed amongst us: But, Oh, how strangely have the Sins of Men found them out!


At the Southward there was a Beast, which brought forth a Creature, which might pretend to something of an Humane shape. Now the People minded that the Monster had a Blemish in one eye, much like what a profligate Fellow in the town was known to have. This Fellow was hereupon examin'd, and upon his Examination, confess'd his infandous* Bestialities; for which he was deservedly Executed.''


* infandous = abominable, literally unnameable (which may have provided the title), from the Latin in-, a privative prefix, fandus, the future passive participle of the deponent verb for, fari, fatus est, to speak, ''that which is not to be spoken of''. 


Edited to delete a ''s'' that somehow found its way into fari.

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